An independent investigation is underway in Massachusetts into the state’s handling of missing New Hampshire 7-year-old Harmony Montgomery’s case – and how her deadbeat dad was awarded custody back in February 2019, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker says.
“I think we should wait until the Office of the Child Advocate finishes their review,” he said during a news briefing Wednesday. “They are there for a reason.”
Harmony was once placed in and out of foster care in Massachusetts before being sent to live with her allegedly drug-addicted dad.
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Police in Manchester, New Hampshire, arrested Adam Montgomery earlier this month after police found him living out of a car and discovered his daughter has been unaccounted for since the fall of 2019.
Montgomery’s ex, Crystal Sorey, had to surrender Harmony to Massachusetts officials in 2018 partly due to substance abuse issues of her own. On Feb. 22, 2019, a Massachusetts court awarded custody to Montgomery – despite his history of drugs and violence.
Baker’s statements came a day after his New Hampshire counterpart, Gov. Chris Sununu, also a Republican, reportedly sent a letter to the chief justice of Massachusetts’ Supreme Court, slamming a lower-court judge’s decision to grant Montgomery custody of his daughter in 2019, which Baker acknowledged during a Wednesday news briefing.
“I totally get where Governor Sununu is coming from,” Baker said. “And we are cooperating to the fullest extent possible that we can with the Office of the Child Advocate here in Massachusetts, which is an independent entity that is reviewing this case and has the ability to access the data that’s necessary to figure out exactly what happened.”
“We are cooperating to the fullest extent possible that we can with the Office of the Child Advocate here in Massachusetts.”
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The girl was not even with her father for a full year before police say she became unaccounted for. And he is now in a New Hampshire jail cell for allegedly giving the partially blind child a black eye in July 2019 and other accusations of child abuse.
In 2014, he pleaded guilty to a botched robbery in which authorities said he shot a suspected drug dealer in the face.
And this past summer, his mother-in-law filed for an order of protection after alleging that he showed up at her house with a knife and tapped on the window while her daughter was hiding out there following the couple’s split.
His estranged wife, Kayla Montgomery, is also currently in custody after allegedly collecting welfare payments on behalf of Harmony for more than a year after she last saw the girl.
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Harmony’s noncustodial biological mother reported her missing in late November, according to a police affidavit, after she spent almost two years trying to contact Montgomery without success. When investigators began looking for her, they discovered no one they interviewed had “physically seen her” since just after Thanksgiving in 2019.
The search for Harmony is ongoing, and Manchester police announced this week that the reward money for information that leads to her whereabouts had climbed to over $140,000.
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Harmony is about 4 feet tall and 50 pounds. She has blonde hair and blue eyes and wears eyeglasses. She’s also blind in her right eye.
Manchester police urge anyone with information to call the dedicated tip line at 603-203-6060.